This seventh installment in The Conjuring Universe (move over DC and Marvel) was written and directed by Gary Dauberman, the man who has an astonishing track record as he is responsible for writing screenplays that include; Annabelle (2014), It (2017), Annabelle: Creation (2017), The Nun (2018), The Curse of La Llorona (2019) and the upcoming It: Chapter 2 (2019).
After the release of the utterly disappointing The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home proves to be a worthy addition that brings back life into an otherwise milked but profitable franchise. Described as ‘the horror version of The Night at the Museum’, Annabelle Comes Home is an exercise of genuine suspense and masterfully crafted scares that marks an impressive directorial debut of Gary Dauberman.
Despite being an Annabelle spin-off, the movie feels more of a Conjuring movie due to Dauberman’s sleek direction, the impeccable set pieces and most importantly, the inclusion of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson’s brief but substantial appearances. With a thin plot that revolves around a character’s stupid decision, the pacing will start to wear out and be noticeably draggy but the movie is well aware of what it is and wonderfully respects its viewers by making full good use of the fun concept and churns out tons of clever jump scares at every opportunity.
Madison Iseman and Katie Sarife are great in their respectful parts as the charming babysitter and the vulnerable troublemaker. Both their characters are given a slight depth but the attempt falls flat as they decided to focus more on an onscreen budding romance instead of explaining even further regarding a death in the past that’s been bothering one of them. McKenna Grace, however, shines as Judy who acts wiser and smarter than her age, indicating that she is indeed a mini Lorraine Warren, leading the night of what seems like a haunted house attraction for a legitimate amusement park.
Fans are in for a good treat as Dauberman and co-writer James Wan have decided to introduce a handful of new and terrifying demons but it would have been a little more satisfying had they shined a light on some of their backstories. Remember to stay alert and keep your eyes open as there will be some interesting easter eggs that foreshadow an entity and events that will soon be presented in the now filming The Conjuring 3.
If you’re well accustomed to the atmosphere and familiar tropes of The Conjuring Universe, this should be a fun roller coaster ride to sit through. It doesn’t possess all the great qualities to be a Conjuring movie but it is by far the best spin-off in the franchise. And while it doesn’t break any new grounds, the movie successfully delivers on its frights, is funny when it needs to be and is anchored by a mature performance from the talented McKenna Grace.
Plotline: The Warrens decide to bring the Annabelle doll home and lock it up in an artifacts room where it wreaks havoc, unleashing terrors upon their daughter Judy and her babysitter.
Annabelle Comes Home (2019)
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Directed by Gary Dauberman
Starring McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson
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